The Town of Austerlitz collects Town, County, and Fire District taxes. For those who did not pay their September School Tax Bill, the outstanding amount, plus penalty and interest, is also relevied onto the January Tax Bill. Tax bills are mailed out at the end of December, beginning of January of each year. Payments will be received without penalty through January 31, 2020, or with a U.S. Postal Service Date Stamp of January 31, 2020. Payments made after this date should include the appropriate penalty due; amount can be found on your tax bill and changes monthly. Payments will be accepted through June 1, 2020, after which time the tax payer should call the Columbia County Treasurer for payment instructions. The Treasurer’s Office can be reached at 518-828-0513.
Payment of Taxes
Online: Taxpayers may pay tax bills online at View or Pay Bill Online. Only full payments will be accepted online. Simply enter ONE piece of information into the appropriate section and click “search.” Once you have brought up your tax information, the “Pay Balance” tab appears near the bottom left of the screen. Credit cards, debit cards and eChecks are accepted. Convenience fees will apply to all online payments and will be posted before payment concent is given.
By Mail: The Tax Collector will also accept payments by mail. Checks are to be payable to 'Susan Haag, Town Collector,' and mailed to Tax Collector, PO Box 238, Spencertown, New York 12165. Your original tax bill should be sent with your payment.
In Person: Payment of Town, County and Fire District taxes may also be made in person at the Town of Austerlitz Town Hall, 816 State Route 203, Spencertown, New York, Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 9:00 am-12:00 pm, and Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Please bring your original tax bill with you.
Partial Payments: Partial Payments will only be accepted via mail and in person. The Tax Collector is only authorized to collect a maximum of two (2) partial payments; one (1) in the month of January and one (1) in the month of April. Any outstanding balance after January 31, 2019 will include penalty and interest. For any taxpayer choosing this method of payment, understand that no partial payments will be accepted in the months of February, March or May.
Frequently Asked Questions
I never received my tax bill or received it late, do I still have to pay the penalty?
Yes. The failure to mail a statement or the failure of a property owner to receive a statement will not affect the validity of the taxes or interest prescribed by law (New York State Real Property Tax Law §922). In addition, neither the Tax Collector nor any other official has legal authority to waive statutory penalty charges. These are fixed by the Real Property Tax Law. If they are waived, the collecting officer will be personally responsible. As all records are audited by State examiners, there is absolutely no discretion in this matter. The Constitution and the law of the State mandates the procedure.
If I mail my payment by the due date do I have to pay the penalty?
New York State Real Property Tax Law §925, provides as follows: "Payment of taxes by mail, when enclosed in a postpaid wrapper (envelope) properly addressed to the appropriate collecting officer and is deposited in a post office or official depository under the exclusive care and custody of the United States Post Office shall, upon delivery, be deemed to have been made to such officer on the date of the United States Postmark on such wrapper. The provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of postmarks not made by the United States Post Office. A postage meter postmark is not a postmark made by the United States Post Office and, therefore, is not within in the provisions of Real Property Tax Law §925. Payments can not be deemed timely because of a postage meter postmark date on an envelope containing a tax payment (Op. New York State Comp. 69-170).
If taxes are not received until after the due date, they are not paid until after the due date unless they fall squarely within the provisions of section 925 of the Real Property Tax Law, and the penalty must be added and collected. No Tax Collector can waive the penalty (Op. New York State Comp. 68-626).
Can I prepay my taxes?
No. The warrant constitutes the mantle of authority for the collecting officer to receive the taxes. Therefore, the warrant must be regarded as the instrument which empowers the collecting officer to begin the collection. Collection authority can not begin prior to the date of the warrant.
Can I designate someone else to receive a copy of my tax bill?
Yes. If you are disabled, or 65 years of age or over, and own a one, two, or three family home, you may designate an adult consenting third party to receive a duplicate copy of your tax bill and notice of unpaid taxes. Complete the Third Party notification Form and Information* and return it to the Tax Collector.